Pope Francis establishes an education center on integral ecology in the papal residence of Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, to promote “ecological conversion” as called for in his Encyclical Laudato si’.
Since the publication of his Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, on Care for Our Common Home in 2015, Pope Francis has insisted on the crucial importance of ecological education for an authentic “ecological conversion”, defined as the “transformation of hearts and minds toward greater love of God, each other, and creation”.
Educating to integral ecology
As a concrete contribution to this effort, the Holy Father has launched the “Borgo Laudato Si’” Project, an education center on integral ecology hosted in the beautiful setting of the pontifical residence in Castel Gandolfo, 24 kilometers south of Rome.
A statement by the Vatican Governorate explains that the centre will be open to all people of good will and that “The activities and initiatives to be implemented in the coming months aim to combine training in integral ecology, circular and generative economy, and environmental sustainability”.
Establishment of the the Laudato Si’ Centre for Higher Education
The Pope has entrusted the implementation of the project to the Laudato Si’ Centre for Higher Education, which he formally established with a Chirograph issued on Thursday as “a scientific, educational and social organization, working for integral formation”, with its own Statute.
According to the papal decree, the Centre will also gradually take over some of the competencies of the Directorate of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo, including the Papal Palace and the Pontifical Gardens.
Caring for creation and for the least of our brothers and sisters are inseparable
In the introduction to the decree, Pope Francis recalls Laudato Si’, reiterating that “Caring for our ‘Common Home’ is a way of taking responsibility for our neighbour, and at the same time recognizing the infinite beauty of God and contemplating the mystery of the universe”. The creative work of God, he stresses citing the Encyclical, is “inseparable from caring for the least of our brothers and sisters and those who have been abandoned”.
In a second Chirograph, the Holy Father the members of the Laudato Si’ Centre for Higher Education. They include: Fr. Fabio Baggio (Director General), Sr. Alessandra Smerilli t FMA, and Ms Francesca Romana Busnelli, (members of the Board of Directors) and Mr Antonio Errigo(Secretary).